In celebration of the 100th anniversary this year of the founding of Bauhaus, the Goethe-Institut is proud to present in association with the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin 100 key photographs from its vast collection.
The Bauhaus was one of the 20th century’s most important avant-garde architecture and design schools which had a significant impact on numerous fields from architecture, object and furniture design to lighting. The school was founded by architect Walter Gropius in Weimar in 1919 with a mandate to put architecture and design at the heart of its educational program. In accordance with its motto, “art and technology —a new unity,” the Bauhaus produced everyday items that were practical, durable, inexpensive and beautifully designed, aimed at meeting the needs of modern society. The school, which had relocated to Dessau in 1925 and Berlin in 1932, was finally closed in 1933 under pressure from the Nazis. Despite this short span of existence, the school’s influence was deep and widespread.
The bauhaus.photo project developed by the Bauhaus-Archiv/Museum für Gestaltung in Berlin, provides a glimpse into the world’s largest collection of Bauhaus photography, comprising more than 70,000 images. The 100 photographs presented here show the wide variety of creative ways in which the medium was used at the Bauhaus. Four themes—life at the Bauhaus, portraits, architectural and product photography, and the Bauhaus photography course—give an extensive overview of the artistically diverse use of photography at the Bauhaus. The works by Bauhaus students and teachers helped lead to the development of parallel contemporary avant-garde photography movements, from Surrealism and Dadaism to New Vision and New Objectivity. Even today, the image these photographs convey of life at one of the 20th century’s most important art schools remains fascinating.
The project bauhaus.photo is a collaborative initiative funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, implemented by the Goethe-Institut and with support from the Federation of German Industries (BDI).